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We can’t be there in person to help and support you in a moment of crisis, but there are other options available to you if you can’t turn to someone you trust. By giving us your postcode (or one nearby to where you are right now) we can let you know about services in your area. Remember: this moment will pass; you won’t always feel the way you do right now. 

If in doubt always call 999.

You can also sign up to Alumina, our online support for mental health and wellbeing here: 

https://www.selfharm.co.uk/alu...

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Writing a Letter to Your Future Self

When was the last time you wrote a letter? In fact, have you ever written one? It would seem that the art of handwriting letters has long become a thing of the past. Well, why would you write a letter when you can spend half the time producing a more professional looking one on a computer? Whilst this option is definitely more convenient, there does still exist a fondness for more old-school methods of communication.

Why?

Handwriting a letter is a very personal and heartfelt way of sharing your thoughts. For a start, your handwriting is completely unique to you, making anything you write on one of a kind! Secondly, taking the time to physically write and/or post a letter, is an extremely thoughtful gesture in a world where digital communication is not only quicker, but also expected.

Letters are also physical things. The digital world sometimes lacks tangibility and authenticity. What this means is, you can't hold a text or an email in your hands. It also means that by texting and emailing, we're not leaving a physical legacy of ourselves in the world. The proof that we were here beyond our social media profiles, snapchats and instagram posts - will be in our diaries, and the letters, scribbles and notes that we wrote and gave to other people.

With this in mind, why not handwrite a letter to your future self!? 

via GIPHY

Writing a letter to your future self can be a really insightful way of helping you to figure out who you really are. Pretend you are writing to yourself a year in the future... What would you say? What kind of person would you want to be? What goals will you want to have achieved by then? 

When you open your letter in a years time, you'll get to find out if you met your own expectations, and if not, reflect on why that’s the case. Our goals are often subject to changing circumstances and priorities - so don't be too hard on yourself if you haven't achieved what you expected.

Reading your letter also lets you see how your direction in life may have changed - allowing you to stop and think about how happy you really are about where you're at with your life. Because your letter was written by you, it's almost like being contacted by the old you, giving you a different, but familiar, friendly and authentic perspective.

So, what are you waiting for!? Grab a pen and some paper and get writing! Just incase you're not sure where to start though, check out the link below to Sophie's blog for ideas and tips where she wrote a letter to her past self instead.

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Fasting and Mental Health

Sanyha is a young person who has a passion for all things art, beauty and mental health related. As a Muslim and someone who has struggled with her mental health, she hopes you find her reflection of fasting during Ramadan helpful.

Ramadan is one of the Holy months of the Islamic calendar, a time in which Muslims dedicate to refocus on purifying their souls and perform through self-reflection, self-sacrifice and prayer. It is a month of fasting and abstaining from any bodily pleasures which helps Muslims develop self-control and a closer connection with God. This month has many positive benefits, however for those who may be suffering from an illness, fasting can become quite difficult to practice - physical or mental illness. 

Over the last few years I have personally struggled with fasting due to how deep my mental health issues had gotten with my depression and anxiety. I was on anti-depressants which is one of the reasons why both my doctor and therapist advised me not to fast but also because of my own triggers and habits which I was aware of such as self harm. Being in that state of depression, it would have been unsafe for my well-being to practice the fasting and this took me a while to accept as religion is something very close to my heart but also something that I struggled with due to the effects of my mental health. 

It is known that physical health can have a huge impact on mental health so this is another factor as the lack of nutrition led me to become quite weak. Combining that weakness with the battles going on in my mind at the time, it was not a healthy mix. 

This seems to be a controversial topic to some however I believe that everybody must do what is right for them regardless of the thoughts of others. I continued the month through prayer and worship despite not fasting, which I believe is one of the main explanations of my mental health improvement overall.

Now with a better mental state, I find fasting is something that actually boosts my mental health through the ability to focus on self-reflection and worship. But it is important to know that this is a very personal situation as each individual has different reasons, beliefs and stories.

You can read more of Sanyha's blog posts on her website.

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Body Image

This blog post was written by Jo Fitzsimmons, a member of the SelfharmUK Team.

I literally don’t know anyone who looks in the mirror every day and says to themselves...

“Wow, I look great!”

do you?

Our bodies are incredible – they allow us to move, enjoy food, laugh, cry, dance, draw, sing, think, sleep; they are incredibly complex. We have 27 emotions that we feel; we think up to 80,000 thoughts a day; we are made up of electric impulses, chemicals, tiny nerves, muscles, tendons and 79 different organs!

We are complex for sure!!

And yet, this body that is so complex, so intricate, so finely balanced that it can feel like our enemy at times.

Why?

Perhaps we don’t feel ‘at home’ in our body?

Perhaps we feel trapped inside this shape we are in?

Perhaps our body doesn’t work in the same way as others?

Perhaps…

Perhaps...

The reality is, at times, we all (yup, every single one of us) feels like this.

We feel frustrated at our body (it doesn’t work right), we might dislike this outer shell of our body that ‘traps’ these thoughts and feelings, we might feel angry at how we look, we might feel scared of the strength of feelings encompassed inside us…

Take a minute:

Sit still. Breathe.

How incredible is that? Your body, that you might not be keen on, allows you to breathe oxygen which gives you life.

Look at your hands.

Check out those tiny hairs, your finger nails…think how tiny they once were…Think about the last hand you held, the comfort that was…Hands link us to those we love; our body links us to those we love.

Find one part of your body that you are most comfortable with - perhaps your legs? Maybe your elbows? Your back?

Look at it. Think about your that is woven together and connected to all your body. Our body functions as it is linked together – tendons, sinews, organs, nerve endings, microbes, white cells, red blood cells.

This is incredible stuff, and yet….we mostly just only look at our own face in the mirror because that’s the bit we think everyone else notices and judges us on…

How crazy is that!? 

We have just reflected on how complex, intricate and awesome our body is and yet we define ourselves (our 80,000 daily thoughts, 27 emotions, our skilled life giving body) by a few inches of our face (where our nose is positioned in relation to our eyes; if one ear is slightly higher than the other...) 

There is no such thing as body perfection. Not in real life.

Instagram might make us think everyone else is perfect. They aren’t.

We ARE unqiue, we are complex, our body is capable of allowing us to feel, think, laugh, cry, love – try and give your body the respect it is due.

via GIPHY

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Latest Blog

Writing a Letter to Your Future Self

Writing a letter to your future self can be a really insightful way of helping you to figure out who you really are. Pretend you are writing to yourself a year in the future... What would you say? 

Read More